Here's a mock-up of the general look of the kitchen:
We have these foot-tall soffits that I had no idea what to do with. I finally came up with the idea to paint them black with chalk-board paint. I plan on writing recipes, measurement conversions, and/or great quotes on them. I think this will go well with my mad scientist kitchen theme.
For the cabinets we decided to go wallet and eco-friendly by refinishing the original cabinets. I really couldn't justify getting rid of perfectly good cabinets. I've added some new carousels and pull out features to make them more functional. I'm adding a pantry cabinet and two base cabinets on the fridge wall. The cabinets are from ikea with the Lilje dark brown doors (see above). The old cabinets will be stained to match the Lilje doors.
I had a really hard time deciding on counters. I knew that I wanted them to be light colored, because of the dark cabinets, and I wanted something that wouldn't be too bad on the environment. The recycled glass counters look great, but are really pricey and I found myself coming back to the wood counters that I saw at Ikea. After doing some research I think we'll like the wood counters and the Lagan counters in beech are not only beautiful, but cheap. They come in at the amazingly low price of $59 for 91", so if we decide that we don't like them we won't feel too bad about it. If nothing else, they will be a step up from what we have and give us time to save up for something else. I have a feeling that we will end up loving them and never change them.
As for the floors, I'm leaning towards cork. It is water resistant, soft on your feet, and if you drop a dish it will be less likely to break. I'm waiting to see how everything else looks all finished before I venture into that territory...